Featuring space exploration, urban horticulture, exclusive anniversary programmes, open-call regional showcases and much, much more, Manchester’s 2024 exhibition schedule offers a peerless variety of incredible artwork, immersive experiences and thought-provoking installations guaranteed to satisfy every cultural craving in the new year.

Here are some of the best.

L.S. Lowry: Going to the Match | Gallery Oldham | Until 24 Feb | FREE

From Sat 2 Dec to Sat 24 Feb, L.S. Lowry’s peerlessly evocative masterpiece Going to the Match will be on public display in Gallery Oldham, following residencies in Salford and Bolton earlier this year.

Painted in 1953, Lowry’s inimitable depiction of Bolton Wanderers fans striding towards Burnden Park in their thousands captures an arrestingly timeless regional experience, resonating across generations of art-lovers, football supporters and Northerners alike.

Gallery Oldham, 35 Greaves St, Oldham OL1 1AL
Albrecht Dürer’s material world | The Whitworth | Open until Sun 10 Mar | FREE

Open throughout winter until Sun 10 Mar, Albrecht Dürer’s material world explores the life and work of the German Renaissance painter like never before, as the Whitworth exhibits works from its sprawling Dürer collection for the first time in over fifty years.

Featuring woodcuts, etchings, and engravings set in contrast to an array of objects from the artist’s period, including armour and tableware, books and scientific instruments, the exhibition provides fresh perspectives on Dürer as an ingenious observer of unparalleled insight, who examined a world of growing trade, ambitious design and manufacture and saw the boundless creative opportunities within to lead Europe’s print revolution.

The Whitworth, The University of Manchester, Oxford Road, Manchester M15 6ER, Tel: 0161 275 7450
Visions of the Night Sky | Jodrell Bank | Until 14 Apr | FREE-£12 (included in admission)

Open from 10am-4pm daily in the breathtaking Space Pavilion, Jodrell Bank’s ongoing Visions of the Night Sky exhibition charts a course across the universe through the astonishing photography of Dr. Anthony Holloway, the observatory’s Head of Computing.

Blending his supreme technical knowledge with a professional understanding of astronomy and a natural artistic flair, Holloway’s work captures the boundless inspiration and imaginative fertility of the cosmos, presented against the backdrop of the world-famous Lovell Telescope.

Bomish Ln, Cheshire, Macclesfield SK11 9DW, Tel: 01477 571766
Operation Ouch! Food, Poo and You | The Science and Industry Museum | Open until Jun 2024 | From £9

Open now in the Special Exhibitions Gallery, the ‘world premiere blockbuster exhibition’ based on the BBC Children’s TV series Operation Ouch! invites science-lovers and biology buffs of all ages on an adventure inside the human body, promising an odyssey of immersive ingestion in which visitors will be shrank and squeezed through a super-sized internal process, all experienced through the POV of poo.

Featuring interactive activities, a variety of fascinating items from the Science Museum Group’s collection and digital assistance from Dr. Xand, Dr. Chris and Dr. Ronx, the exhibition combines silliness and science to provide a unique insight into the complex journey undertaken by everything we eat. Visitors will travel through various tracts and tubes in an exploration of food as fuel, our inner ‘poo-duction line’ and the ways in which our systems fight bacteria, while embracing our funniest bodily functions and the ‘glorious grossness’ inside us all.

The Science and Industry Museum, Liverpool Rd, Manchester, M3 4FP
Jo Lathwood: Making Up | The Lowry | Sat 20 Jan - Sun 3 Mar | FREE

Taking inspiration from the history and heritage of The Lowry’s local neighbourhood, Salford Quays, as well as her abstract interest in journeys and human movement, artist Jo Lathwood partners with the world-renowned theatre to spend four weeks in residence developing, constructing and deconstructing a ‘site-responsive sculptural work’ which encourages audience engagement, as visitors join a system of circular travel which represents the need for return, retreading, stillness and even undoing as part of a sustainable future.

Pier 8, Salford Quays, Manchester, M50 3AZ
Manchester Open 2024 | HOME | Sat 3 Feb - Sun 28 Apr | FREE

Running once every two years, HOME’s Manchester Open 2024 celebrates the best artistic talent across the region with a mixed-media showcase of stunning submissions from applicants of all backgrounds and experiences, having welcomed entries from professionals and first-time enthusiasts alike.

Displayed on the HOME Gallery walls from Sat 3 Feb to Sun 28 Apr, the panel-selected exhibition features paintings, prints, photography, sculpture, ceramics, digital, video, audio and more, with winning artworks chosen in partnership with Castlefield Gallery.

2 Tony Wilson Pl, Manchester M15 4FN, Tel: 0161 200 1500
40 Years of the Future | Castlefield Gallery | FREE

In celebration of their 40th anniversary, Castlefield Gallery hosts a sprawling programme of thrilling, profound and devastatingly insightful art exhibitions throughout 2024, launching on Thu 20 Mar.

Featuring groundbreaking meta-media ‘spatial paintings’, delicate yet sweeping multi-disciplinary cultural meditations and even a selection of original paintings displayed as part of the gallery’s inaugural 1984 programme, 40 Years of the Future offers a curation of uniquely provocative artwork produced by a cohort of acclaimed creative titans and exciting emerging talent.

2 Hewitt St, Greater, Manchester M15 4GB, Tel: 0161 832 8034
RHS Urban Show | Depot Mayfield | Thu 18 - Sun 21 Apr | From £14.85

Developed around a theme of ‘your own oasis’, the RHS Urban Show takes over Depot Mayfield for a long weekend this April with a horticultural festival of stalls, showcases and spellbinding city centre botany as the brand new and immersive experience promises a gardening exhibition with a metropolitan twist.

11 Baring St, Manchester M1 2PY, Tel: 0161 806 0161
L.S. Lowry Exhibition | The Lowry | Permanent | FREE

Open to all and free to enter, The Lowry’s collection of the eponymous artist’s work comprises over 400 individual pieces, alongside an extensive archive of photographs, press cuttings and exhibition catalogues, as well as his most recognisable painting, Going To The Match, in a separate dedicated installation, having been saved at auction by The Lowry in October 2022.

Pier 8, The Quays, Salford, M50 3AZ, Tel: 0343 208 6000
Ayo Akingbade: Show Me The World Mister | The Whitworth | Fri 3 May - Sun 20 Oct | FREE

Opening on Fri 3 May at the Whitworth, the prodigious emerging artist’s solo exhibition Show Me The World Mister features two new, captivating film commissions, The Fist and Faluyi, both shot on location in her family’s native Nigeria.

Billed as ‘her most ambitious productions to date’, Akingbade’s films explore the historic relationship between labour and industrialisation, alongside the familial mysticism and hauntology of ancestral lands. Both shorts have been acquired by the Whitworth and will be shown together in a bespoke installation designed by Ayo herself.

Check out The Whitworth’s full 2024 exhibition highlights below.

Oxford Road, Manchester M15 6ER, Tel: 0161 275 7450
Stanley Chow Presents a Random Selection of His Illustrations Featuring People From Film, Stage and TV | The Edge | Wed 14 Feb - Thu 30 May

The Edge has announced that its latest exhibition will showcase none other than local legend Stan Chow.

Stanley Chow Presents a Random Selection of His Illustrations Featuring People From Film, Stage and TV kicks off with a special private view on Wed 14 Feb and will run throughout spring until Thu 30 May.

Whether it’s homegrown heroes like Marcus Rashford and Maxine Peake or musical icons like Bowie, Prince and Debbie Harry, his stunning, unmistakable illustrations have immortalised all kinds of familiar faces, many of which will be showcased in his upcoming exhibition at The Edge.

Mon 1 Jan - Tue 31 Dec
Wolf McFarlane
Published on:
Thu 22 Feb 2024